Sunday, April 5, 2009

Profile: Cameron Graves Hayden

Cameron Graves Hayden

Cameron was born in Greenwich, CT in 1968. In 1990, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, with a major in Art History. In 1991, Cameron moved to Montreal. She received her Diploma in Art Education from McGill University in 1992. While in Montreal, Cameron began to work extensively in open studios with live models, drawing and painting. She moved to Halifax in 1994 and received her Bachelor of Fine Art Degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in June 1997. In 1996 Cameron received the Robert Pope Foundation scholarship for painting and was short-listed for the Prince Edward Award, and in 1997 she received the NSCAD Endowment Fund Scholarship. Cameron has shown her work in numerous exhibitions, both group and solo, locally, as well as in Greenwich, CT, Princeton, NJ, Montreal, PQ, and Guelph, ON. Since graduating from NSCAD Cameron has continued to show extensively in Halifax. In 2000, she performed a painting on stage with musical artist Veda Hille, and in 2003, 2005 and 2007 she volunteered 80 hours of work to paint specialty murals in the Kid's Help Phone Designer Showcase House. In addition, in both 2005 and 2006 Cameron created the set design for Simply the Breast, a Canadian Breast Cancer fundraiser.

Over the past year Cameron has started to paint pet commissions with a very positive response from the pet community. It has been such an enjoyable undertaking that the artist will continue to pursue and build her "pet aesthetic". Her goal is to make great works that consider not only the animal's physical appearance, but also his/her nature. Cameron feels capturing the spirit and personality of the pet is the key to a successful work.

When I asked Cameron if she would like to be involved in the Paws For Charity Art Book Project, I specifically mentioned her painting "Vanessa and Be". I was quite drawn to this painting, and although it doesn't have a dog or cat in the painting I wanted to include it. When I mentioned this painting to Cameron, she told me Vanessa was diagnosed with breast cancer over two years ago. Here is Cameron's painting of Vanessa. You'll find it on page 3 of our book. Underneath the painting, you'll find the story of "Be", written by Vanessa.I have a bear. His name is 'Be'. I received Be when I was first diagnosed with cancer two and a half years ago. Be has provided me with great comfort and strength ever since. I named him Be to represent everything I want to be... be happy, be healthy, be loving, be generous. Whenever I feel upset, angry or sad, I look to Be to remind me of everything positive in the world and everything I want to be; ultimately Be represents love. Be also reminds me to live in the moment, to Be. I don't know how much longer I have in this life but every moment will count and will be cherished. Be is my constant companion. He comes with me to all of my chemo appointments, anytime I am in the hospital and of course to bed with me. If I ever wake up in the middle of the night, his sweet, comforting face is there to greet me. Be also represents the love I have in my heart for those I cherish most. Bears know where their hearts are and will always remind you of where yours is.

Thank you to both Cameron and Vanessa for being involved with the 2009 Art Book Project.


Moose said...

Simply beautiful... the story brought a tear to my eye. A wonderful profile of the artist!
Tail Wags to All.

Jennifer said...

Beautiful painting. Beautiful words.
Peace and strength to Vanessa.

spread your wings said...

what a great way to start the introduction of artists.
cameron is an extremely talented artist. i love this painting but more than anything the hope it represents

Julie Magers Soulen said...

What an extraordinary painting! I love Vanessa's story of Be and wish her all the happiness that life has to offer.

Michelle (mkc photography) said...

Really just lovely - such a joy to meet the artist behind such a powerful, beautiful piece.

Dan Felstead said...

Beautiful portrayal. It is so interesting to see the artist behind the learn about what motivates them.

I received my book last evening and it is very very nice. I am so proud to be associated with the other 46 artists...your works are wonderful and reproduced beautifully. Thanks to Sara once more for including me.